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Video: How UAE Mars mission team executes backup plans when there are launch delays

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on July 19, 2020 | Last updated on July 19, 2020 at 06.16 am
Video, How, UAE Mars mission, team, executes, backup plans, launch delays

(Picture retrieved from @HopeMarsMission/Twitter)

The team shared a video on Saturday in which Omran Sharaf, project director of the Emirates Mars Mission, explains what happens when there is a delay.

Foul weather in Japan has delayed the launch of the UAE's historic Mars mission twice. With a new scheduled launch time and date of 1.58am (UAE time) on July 20, the team is hoping to see clear skies for the launch to proceed without a hitch.

So, what exactly does the Emirates Mars Mission team do when there is a launch delay?

The team shared a video on Saturday in which Omran Sharaf, project director of the Emirates Mars Mission, explains what happens when there is a delay.

Every time there is a shift in the launch date, the whole planning process undergoes an overhaul, he explains. "The launch and separation timings change and the time for receiving the first signal changes. So operationally, a lot of things need to be updated."

He says the team has contingency plans for every scenario. "These plans were put in place in case something happens. Now that we have a launch delay, we will execute these plans. This includes reassessing the separation time, deployment of solar panels when it happens, etc. We continue monitoring the status of the spacecraft and making sure it is in good condition."

Due to the launch delay, the team will make sure that the batteries of the probe are charged and that the sterile environment around it is maintained. "The team will be busy with all that. We will also be busy with our daily meetings."

The first planetary science mission from the UAE and the Arab world is scheduled to go into its Martian orbit in February 2021 - the year that will mark 50 years of the UAE's union. For the first time in history, a countdown in Arabic will herald a space launch when the Hope probe takes off.

The probe aims to give mankind a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere. Data collected will be shared with over 200 research centres across the world.

sahim@khaleejtimes.com 


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